sexta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2014

Myth - History in the Making [1992, Amiga] Review - It's a Pixel THING

I grew up enjoying all Ray Harryhousen’s extraordinary movies with cutting edge stop motion technology and one of my favorite films of all time is Jason and the Argonauts. Ray left us a remarkable legacy of adventure and action packed titles that will prevail for many years to come.

So, where MYTH fits into all this? Well, if you played the ZED X Spectrum or Commodore 64 version back in 1989 or, this one, the Amiga version released in 1992, you’ll know what I’m trying to say. MYTH is a stupendous videogame title extremely based on Rays Harryousen’s movies. As seen on my last episode, videogames in the 80s were highly influenced by the movie industry.

Developed and released by UK based software house System 3 for the greatest machines of late 80s, its pinnacle is the Amiga version. This version was on development for over two years after the 8 bit versions were out. So, it had to be good!

An Atari ST port of the Amiga game was also on development, but it ended up on the recycle bin. So, if you want to grab a 16 bit version of MYTH, the Amiga is the only one available, but in two flavors: disk or CD. Yes, there was a CD32 port that, unfortunately, didn’t have any improvement over the original Amiga game.

The game is split into five stages and, as opposed to what we saw in the Zed X Spectrum and C64 versions, we play with a barbarian character. Each stage consists of three levels which contain different styles of strategy and gameplay. Obviously, Mythology is what this game is all about and it covers Greek, Egyptian, Celtic and Norse. You’ll be travelling to these mythological sites which include the appropriate monsters and beasts to each particular mythology.

The objective it to slay the most evil God that ever walked this Earth, named Dameron, that killed a close friend of the main barbarian character. You must go through all this maze of platforms, killing everything that moves and solving puzzles as you go.

In the very first level we begin in Hades, the Greek Hell, and its mythology is instantly apparent as the first skeletons and blood sucking harpies appear on screen. Killing the harpies you can pick up extra energy and very important weapons to face the enemy in a more confident way. To escape from Hell you must find a way to get the trident weapon, ‘cause it’s the only way to kill the Cerberus, the three headed dog whilst, in the second level, you find yourself on the Crypts of Medusa where you need to collect the Medusa’s shield, so you can protect yourself from her evil rays.

There’s other mythological creatures to confront, such as the Hydra, Achilles and Nidhogg. Each one requires different skills to kill it. This is one of the things that makes this game so enjoyable, the nonlinear approach that we’re asked to make on every single level. Thinking of that, it is also kind of educational, forcing us to find ways of reaching victorious to the end of each level.

We’ll be also visiting amazing places like Valhallas’s castle and the great pyramid of Egypt where you’ll be searching for King Tut’s Tomb and treasure chamber.
The final battle against Dameron has a shoot ‘em up kind of feel to it. You’re flying and trying to kill the giant head of heads in this fast scrolling section.

Just for curiosity the NES version of this game, that probably was the only one available in the United States, was an enormous piece of royal crap! They even used Conan as the main character and changed the name to “Conan: The Mysteries of Time”. Upon its release, in 1991, all magazines were unanimous: this is an ugly, sad and uninspired version of an extraordinary game!

The basic idea in all platform games is to kill everything in sight and reach for the end of each level. Well, Myth is this and much more.

If platforming puzzle action is your thing, Myth is one of the best there is!

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